Romans 6:1-4 ESV What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? (2) By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (3) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (4) We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Sometimes the reason we do not gain victory over sin is because we have a feeling within ourselves that we owe it to ourselves to not be too strict in the matter of resisting sinful behavior. This feeling is due to the fact that we do not recognize that our adamic nature is on the cross with Jesus. We owe our fallen nature nothing—absolutely nothing—that we should obey its fleshly, soulish desires!
There is not enough preaching and teaching today about the fact that when we were baptized in water we were baptized into the death of Jesus Christ and into His resurrection. We simply do not understand we are one with Christ in His death and one with Him in His resurrection.
When we consider the prospect of being free from sinful behavior we should not be worried about losing something worthwhile. When we gave our lives to Christ the old Adamic nature within us is dead, dead, dead. To continue sinning is to deny the state of being adopted by Christ by faith and having a new nature.
The New Testament teaches with utmost clarity that the new covenant does not tolerate continuance in sinful behavior. Freedom from the power of sin and freedom from the compulsion to sin is included under new covenant grace.
Now, how do we go about being delivered from sinful behavior? What does the Scripture teach?
The general position we are to take concerning victory over sinful behavior is that which is true of any promise of God. We must read it, understand it, accept it by faith, and then pursue it with patience and hope until we have a full grasp on it. Look at the words of Paul to young Timothy.
1 Timothy 6:10-12 ESV For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (11) But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. (12) Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Hebrews 6:11-12 ESV And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, (12) so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
When we read a promise in the Bible, whether it be for salvation, or the baptism with the Holy Spirit, or Divine healing, we tell God we believe it and thank Him for it. Then we pursue it. We never, never, never quit. So it is with righteous behavior, with victory over sinful behavior. Some victories are gained easily and quickly. Others may require years. But we never cease letting the Lord know we will not accept sin in our life now that He has promised us deliverance.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.